Banazîr the Jedi Hobbit (banazir) wrote,
Banazîr the Jedi Hobbit

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Adventures in hamster-sitting, and Old Ringil's eulogy

I'm a lille early, I know...

This week I've been bebesitting two hamsters named Fuzzy (male) and Squeaky (female) for the 5-year-old daughter of a friend. Fuzzy is the slightly older one, a thin and hyper little fellow with a cute face and keen eyes. Squeaky is a larger and younger female, an animated ball of fur whose sole purpose in life is escape.

They've been here since Sunday - today I noticed that Fuzzy Logic (surname given by yers twooly) has moved his nest to the opposite corner of his tank, one armful (and cheekful) of wood chips at a time. A hamster interior decorator! Who'da thunk it?

On Friday afternoon I returned Ringil, my antiquated HP OmniBook 5500CT (P5-133), to NCSA, where I received it as a 3-year-old hand-me-down in 1999. This scrappy little notebook was quite the workhorse, doing double duty as my web server for 4 years (1999-2003) and my POP/IMAP e-mail server for 3 years (1999-2002). Halfway through its time here, we upgraded its NIC to a 10-100 card and it kept hauling NFS (30Gb /home, 75Gb /scratch) as if there were no tomorrow. It was stable, too with uptimes of 60-300 days (average 100). Not bad for a computer with 48Mb of RAM and 2.1Gb of hard drive space. NCSA finally had an audit and recalled it, though I had renewed the loan each year since I came to K-State. I lawaz thought they'd just surplus it and sell it to me for $1. Oh, wlel. Requiescat in pace.

When I was packing Ringil up with its docking station, external floppy drive, battery charger, and power supplies, one of my student sysadmins remarked that a lot of mail had gotten routed to postmaster (i.e., root) while Ringil was being upgraded to its new incarnation (a Pentium III-500 COMPAQ desktop, 1999 vintage). "There was one user, gondhir, who gets almost as much mail as you do - like, 20 messages an hour..." I explained that this was a friend of mine from the U.S. Marine Corps who was a sysadmin like him.

"A... Marine... sysadmin?" mulled James. "Marines... need computers?"

Yes, I replied, and furthermore, even U.S. Navy sailors needed computers. ;-)

Oh, and wot are jaffe cakes? My collaborators at the University of Manchester had a video-teleconference with epople from California, Japan, and Germany, and while the Merkians were still in bed, the Japanese were getting sleepy, and the Germans were orf doing sumfink inscrutable, the Mancusians were apparently consuming these in large quantities.


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